Staff and students at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies have been saddened and upset by the tragic circumstances in which George Floyd died and the persistent structural inequality and embedded racist attitudes that it once again revealed. Regrettably, such racism is not confined to the United States and we are aware of the importance of us all taking responsibility for confronting the part that we, and the institution we work for, have played in facilitating discrimination and benefiting from a legacy of imperialism. We would like to take this opportunity to re-assert our commitment to confronting racism through education, research, discussion, and peaceful protest.
Interrogating the interface between the rhetoric of formal rights and the lived reality of legal process is the heart of everything we do. Issues around race and law are currently being explored in a number of projects at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies. These include:.
- A social history of compensation for occupational disease and the ways in which race determined how life and labour were compensated and the costs of occupational disease displaced onto colonized and racialized peoples in the quest for capitalist growth.
- The Global Media and Policy Seminar series, which seeks to bridge the epistemic distance between the global north and the global south.
- Inspiring Legal Women – A project funded by Oxford University’s John Fell fund which is exploring marginalised voices and the ways in which achievement is celebrated in the legal profession;
We encourage you to read about these and other projects, share your thoughts, and challenge us.
Staff and students at the Centre acknowledge that we can and should do more. In the spirit of taking time to listen to, and amplify, the voices of Black academics we will be dedicating our Michaelmas term seminar series to the topic of Black Lives Matter. Our efforts will not stop there. We plan a series of discussions about de-colonising our curriculum, the impact of unconscious bias, and our events policy to ensure that we are not complicit in the marginalisation or silencing of black voices. We have also begun discussions about how to better support students of colour funding their study at Oxford.